The daughter of British guitarist/vocalist Martin Carthy and vocalist Norma Waterson, Eliza "Liza" Carthy has continued in her parents' footsteps.
Carthy and her solo work have showcased her ability to breathe new life into England's traditional folk music. According to Dirty Linen, Carthy "has turned into a marvelous vocalist who has drawn equally from the craft and the idiosyncrasies of both her parents' distinctive styles." Carthy's earliest performances came as leader of her own band, the Kings of Calicutt, in 1990. Although they recorded a self-titled album, with producer John McCusker of the Battlefield Band, in her mother's home in 1994, it wasn't released until three years later. By that time, Carthy's debut solo album, Heat Light & Sound, had been available for a year. In 1992, Carthy began to play in a highly technical duo with Nancy Kerr. Their first duo album, Eliza Carthy and Nancy Kerr, released in 1993, was followed by Shape of Scrape in 1995. Occasionally performing with her parents in the Watersons, since the early '90s Carthy has been active with a traditional folk trio, Waterson:Carthy, formed in 1994. The trio has recorded two albums, Waterson:Carthy in 1994 and Common Tongue in 1996. Carthy has also recorded with a Basque band, Hirutruku. In 1998, she released the critically acclaimed Red Rice, which received a Mercury Music Prize nod, and two years later she returned with Angels & Cigarettes. Red Rice, which is a two-disc box set of traditional songs and musical crossovers, appeared in spring 2001. Carthy returned to her folk roots on 2002's award-winning Anglicana, followed by a greatest-hits collection in 2004. The following year saw the release of Rough Music, a multi-layered collection of modern/traditional English music with her whip-smart backing band the Ratcatchers. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi